June 27, 2012
Together in Faith Parish Update
St. Clement Parish, Centerline and St. Teresa of Avila Parish, Warren
Following communication and collaboration among the pastors, parish councils, and parishioners of St. Clement Parish in Center Line and St. Teresa of Avila Parish in Warren, the archdiocesan Presbyteral Council recently reviewed and advised to accept Together in Faith pastoral planning actions recommended by these already clustered parishes. Archbishop Vigneron has approved the next steps.
St. Clement will merge with St. Teresa of Avila on July 1, 2012. Rev. Robert Blondell, temporary administrator of the two parishes, with parishioner input, submitted several names for the new parish, which Archbishop Vigneron decided will be St. Mary, Our Lady Queen of Families Parish. The parish offices will remain at the St. Teresa campus, while the pastor for St. Mary, Our Lady Queen of Families will reside in the St. Clement rectory.
A Mass of Unity will be celebrated at St. Clement at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 30, 2012, with Bishop Michael Byrnes serving as the principal celebrant. A reception at St. Teresa of Avila will immediately follow the Mass.
In November 2011, Father Blondell was named temporary administrator of the clustered parishes of St. Clement and St. Teresa of Avila and restored the parish council and finance council with members of both parishes. These councils have met regularly and were actively involved in the Together in Faith phase two pastoral plan.
The St. John's Deaf Center ministry relocated to the St. Leonard church campus in July 2007. Discussions began in March 2012 to find an alternate site, and it has been determined that the St. John Deaf Center will remain at St. Leonard through June 2013.
As required in the Together in Faith action plan for these parishes, Father Blondell, with the approval of the joint St. Clement-St. Teresa parish finance council, submitted a comprehensive debt repayment plan to archdiocesan Central Services in March. Upon some additional work, Central Services’ Parish Support Services, in collaboration with parish staff and the joint parish finance council, expects to have an approved plan in effect by June 30, 2012.
The joint parish council met in March, April, and May to discuss the merging of St. Clement and St. Teresa. The parish council, finance council, and Father Blondell agreed to have the merger completed by June 30, 2012. No decision has been made regarding the closing of a church building, which will be discussed in greater detail in the coming year with Rev. Robert Bauer, assigned as the new pastor of the St. Mary, Our Lady Queen of Families Parish worship community effective June 30, 2012.
To inform and engage parishioners in both worship communities, Fr. Blondell has made numerous pulpit announcements and has addressed the upcoming merger through bulletin articles. The joint parish council also decided to forgo closing liturgies at either church, instead focusing on the June 30 parish Mass of Unity and welcoming the installation of Father Bauer.
Archdiocesan Central Services will continue to work with the newly formed parish community.